What are the Best Vitamins for Energy?

What are the Best Vitamins for Energy?

Get these vitamins for a daily energy boost.

Possibly the most common question we get asked, is what vitamins should I take to boost my energy levels? It's a good question because vitamins are not just fundamental to good health, they are crucial to the production of energy in the body. There are certain chemical processes going on in energy metabolism such as the transport of oxygenated blood, the conversion of calories (and oxygen) into fuel, and the utilization of fuel by cells, which require certain vitamins and minerals. Ensuring that you have plenty of these nutrients is the surest way to raise energy and vitality.

At the top of the list of vitamins for energy are B vitamins.

The eight B vitamins -- B-1, B-2, B-3, B-5, B-6, B-7, B-9 and B-12 -- are essential to the entire energy metabolism process. They are involved in a broad range of activities including the creation of red blood cells, which transport oxygen through the body, and adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is required by cells for energy. B vitamins affect how the body processes the nutrients we eat and how it converts them into energy, so they are at the very heart of energy metabolism and the chemical process to convert calories to usable fuel. 

Vitamin B1 (thiamin) contributes toblood vessel growth and food metabolism.

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) is involved a number of chemical processes, helping to increase oxygen utilization efficiency and red blood cell growth and function.

Vitamin B3 (niacin) works in conjunction with other B vitamins to increase the efficiency of all metabolic processes.

Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) also works together with the other B's as well as contributing to immune system function, so it is especially valuable for well-being.

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is critical to arterial and cardiovascular health and proper blood flow, so cells can produce enough energy and get enough oxygen.

Vitamin B7 (biotin) is involved in protein and fat metabolism, part of the conversion of food to energy.

Vitamin B9 (folic acid), like pyridoxine, protects arteries and promotes blood flow, and is involved in red blood cell formation.

Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) is probably the most widely applied because, with folic acid, is fundamental to red blood cell growth and to how well food is metabolize and utilized.  The National Institute of Health states that B-12 is used for boosting energy, mood, and concentration. B-12 is not found in plants, and must be obtained from animal products, which may contribute to the ubiquity of its use.

Symptoms of vitamin B deficiency include: fatigue, lethargy, weakness, and more.

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is also important to energy production in the body. Science first uncovered the connection between C and fatigue during the centuries when naval vessels traversed the globe and scurvy became a serious problem for sailors. Severe fatigue was one result of vitamin C deficiency, and we now know that oxygen utilization is linked to available stores of ascorbic acid.

Several studies showed that administration for two months of 50-70 mg ascorbic acid daily increased the mean plasma vitamin C four and one-half fold, enhanced oxygen utilization, and led to reduced reported fatigue (Suboticanec-Buzina K, Buzina R, Brubacher G, Sapunar J and Christeller 5: Vitamin C Status and Physical Working Capacity in Adolescents. International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research 54, 1984.)

In addition, vitamin D is necessary for muscle function and energy. Produced in the skin from sunlight, it makes sense that D would be beneficial for boosting energy levels. Research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism on patients with vitamin D deficiency who experienced symptoms of muscle fatigue found that "those with very low vitamin D levels improved their muscle efficiency significantly when their vitamin D levels were improved.” Patients who took D supplements reported a reduction in fatigue. 

Because muscles use large amounts of ATP for activity, it becomes clear how important vitamin D and the B vitamins are for healthy energy in the body. Magnesium is also essential for ATP production, so maintaining proper levels of magnesium in your diet is critical. And while we are talking minerals, iron is required for hemoglobin, which transports oxygen in the blood, so keep your iron up (the CDC says iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the US!)

Ensuring proper amounts of these vitamins can be done with a carefully balanced diet rich in the right foods. Supplementation has proven very effective for assisting with energy in the body, so look for a properly balanced energy boosting supplement that has the precise required amounts of each vitamin. It also makes sense to combine these vitamins with the minerals, amino acids and other nutrition that are fundamental to the human energy system. This is exactly the science behind our own successful daily energy booster, JUMPSTART EX.

Related Posts:  
Are You Suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? 
Understanding Energy Usage is Crucial to Weight Loss

Jumpstart EX energy


B Vitamins Directory. Vitamins & Supplements. 2005-2013 WebMD.
Vitamins. November 07, 2012. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Austin P, Thrash A, and Thrash C: Fatigue: Causes Treatment and Prevention, 1989. Sunfield, Family Health Publications.

The opinions expressed in this article are of the author. Content and other information presented on the site are not meant to be medical advice or any substitute for professional advice, counseling, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard professional medical or mental health advice from your physician or other qualified health provider.


    • Avatar
      Ten Tom
      Dec 27, 2014

      I have had fatigue problems for years now and have just recently been getting into the nutritional science aspect trying to boost my energy levels. Thanks for the useful info.

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